Recently, under the guidance of Academician Jiang Lei and Associate Professor Yu Cunming, Zhang Jinke, an undergraduate student from the School of Chemistry, published an article titled “Integrated Bundle Electrode with Wettability-Gradient Copper Cones Inducing Continuous Generation, Directional Transport and Efficient Collection of H2 Bubbles” in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (IF 8.758), an internationally renowned academic journal in applied materials science and engineering.
With the depletion of traditional fossil fuels, hydrogen, as a clean and renewable energy carrier, is considered as an important part in future life and industrial processes. As an efficient process of converting various energies into high-purity hydrogen, the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) has attracted much attention. However, its wide applications still confront considerable challenges, for example, bubble coverage on the electrode and bubble dispersion in the electrolyte.
Inspired by the spider silks (Uloborus walckenaerius) and the cactus spines (Opuntia microdasys), which could use their tapered structure to achieve the directional transport of droplets, the research group prepared the integrated bundle electrode with wettability-gradient cone electrodes (WGCEs). The tips of the cone electrode can generate hydrogen bubbles, and the generated gas bubbles can be directionally transported between two adjacent cone electrodes because of the aerophilic capillary force. Furthermore, by virtue of wettability gradient and conical morphology, the integrated bundle electrode is capable of continuous generation, directional transport, and efficient collection of H2 bubbles.
This research was supported by the School of Chemistry, Youth League Committee, and Laboratory Construction and Management Office of Beihang University. Zhang Jinke is the first author of the article. Dong Fuyao and Wang Chuqian, two undergraduates from the School of Chemistry and the School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation respectively, have also made contributions in the process of project design, experimental operation, and paper publication.
The Link to the article: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c04993
Reported by Wei Qian
Reviewed by Li Hongjie
Edited by Jia Aiping
Translated by Zang Mingming